The Centreville, Delaware National Historic District on Kennett Pike (Route 52) just north of Wilmington is truly unique – a lively, historic village where bikers and billionaires feel equally at home. The “center” of Centreville is Buckley’s Tavern, a wonderfully eclectic eatery that was once a stagecoach stop, where your choice of dining environments ranges from tavern to trendy and roadside to rooftop. How’s this for eclectic? Wear your pajamas to Sunday brunch and you get a 50% discount!
The Centreville Café is just “down the Pike” from Buckley’s if you’re looking for lighter fare. They’re known for their delicious soups and sandwiches, and the Café is one of the few dog friendly eateries in the Delaware Valley. Perhaps it’s because they’re right next to the Centreville Veterinary Hospital & Kennel!
Centrevillians are a sporty bunch. Just about every charity walk, run or cycling event in northern Delaware starts, ends or runs through the village. Or, you can join the “Bicycle Boys” on Sunday mornings at Buckley’s for a liesurely ride through the countryside, which explains why Centreville is home to one of the premier bicycle shops in the Brandywine Valley, Garrisons Cyclery. For the less ambitious, there’s always fly fishing, and Centreville’s A Marblehead Flyfisher has everything you’ll need.
Centreville’s claim to fame is surely its art and antiques emporiums. Hardcastle Gallery is one of the premier galleries in the region, featuring two and three dimensional works in the “Brandywine tradition” of Andrew Wyeth and Howard Pyle. Ronald C. Bauman Antiques is so special that they are generally open by appointment only. Centreville is also the home of Windle’s Art & Antiques and Crystal’s Vintage Jewelry, as well as celebrated photographer Jim Graham. Malchione Antiques & Sporting Collectibles is open “by chance or appointment.” And Wild Thyme Flowers adds a beautiful dose of living color to the quaint village atmosphere. And, don’t forget there’s NO SALES TAX in Delaware!
Historically, the only thing Centreville didn’t have was overnight accommodations. But that all changed when the Cottage at Elizabeth Gardens opened its doors. The Cottage is a single residence nestled in eight acres of display gardens just one block from Kennett Pike – available for overnight or short-term rental. Is that special or what? And to make your stay at the Cottage perfect, you’ll want to pick out a vintage bottle of wine at one of Delaware’s most prestigious purveyors of fine spirits, Colliers of Centreville, next to Buckley’s Tavern.
Centreville is a world unto itself, yet it’s less than five miles from a host of world-class cultural attractions like Winterthur, Hagley, Longwood Gardens, Mt. Cuba, the Marshall Steam Car Museum and the Delaware Art Museum. So tour bus operators take note: Buckley’s can easily accommodate a bus load of visitors and there’s roadside parking in both directions right on Kennett Pike. For more information about the Brandywine Valley go to www.visitwilmingtonde.com.
TravelTip: If you have time, check out Canby Park across Kennett Pike from the Centreville Cafe. The park overlooks a picturesque pasture with a rare herd of Belted Galloway cows – often called “oreo” cows because of the single white stripe around their mid-section.